Speaking with anchor Chris Hayes, Schmidt argued that the GOP has transformed under President Donald Trump, describing it as “irredeemable.”
“It’s become a threat to America’s institutions, to small ‘L’ liberalism. It is an authoritarian-ish party, not so different than the parties that we see in Hungary and Poland.”
“Really what it is is an organized conspiracy to maintain power,” Schmidt continued.
Trump’s presidency has resulted in “the collapse of the Republican Party, its putrefaction, its descent into the cesspool is a real tragedy for the country, and we see it playing out now every day,” Schmidt argued.
The former GOP operative said that some of Trump’s closest allies in the United States Congress — such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — will be voted out of office.
“People, generally speaking, in this country don’t like it when their politicians take them for fools, look them in the eye and lie to them the way [Lindsey] Graham has,” he said.
Schmidt also argued that Republican politicians are bound by a “loyalty oath” to Trump, which is why they constantly defend the president against criticism. To conclude his argument, he pointed to Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s recent refusal to criticize Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former Republican did not mince his words when asked about Trump either, describing him as “the worst leader” in American history.
Schmidt is a member of the conservative super PAC, The Lincoln Project. Opposed to Trump and his agenda, the group has released dozens of advertisements critical of the president, expressing support for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
In an ad released in June, Schmidt and his allies accused Trump of betraying American troops stationed in Afghanistan. The group released the advertisement following reports that the Russian government offered bounties to Taliban militants for killing American soldiers.
While Schmidt and other conservative operatives may be opposed to Trump, the vast majority of Republican voters are not. According to Gallup research, in the month of June, 91 percent of Republicans said that they approve of the president’s job performance. The commander-in-chief seems exceptionally popular among the party’s rank and file, given that his approval rating has seldom dropped below 85 percent.
However, polls suggest that Biden is a favorite to win the White House in November. A The Hill/HarrisX survey released earlier this week found that Trump is trailing Biden by four percentage points nationwide. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll, the former vice president is ahead by 10 percentage points.